The Westfield FFA Cup is starting to build momentum towards an exciting crescendo, with some enthralling fixtures planned this coming week in Round 5.
A total of twenty matches will take place over four different days across New South Wales as forty clubs do battle to claim their coveted spot in Round 6.
Round Five kicks off with the solitary match on Tuesday evening, taking place at Hooka Creek Park at 7-30pm between Wollongong United and Blacktown Spartans.
The team from the Illawarra Premier League have been perennial performers in this competition in recent seasons, and will back themselves given they have a sprinkling of players who have NSW Premier League experience, plus the fact they are playing at home and do not have to concern themselves with any midweek travel requirements.
But the Spartans have actually travelled very well this season. Not only have both their victories in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition come on the road, but one of those was in Wollongong at WIN Stadium against the Wollongong Wolves. Additionally, Ben De Hann’s men got through Round 5 of the Westfield FFA Cup with a 5-0 away win against Albion Park in Cringila, so the Spartans seem to be very comfortable in travelling to the Illawarra, and will look for yet another success come Tuesday evening.
Twenty four hours later at the same venue will see a local derby of sorts take place with Wollongong Wolves playing Kemblawarra Fury.
The Fury have had a great start to 2016, with two wins and a draw from the opening three rounds of the Illawarra Premier League, as well as the two victories in the Westfield FFA Cup, including a 10-0 thumping of Western Lions in Round Three. The Fury have a host of ex-NSW Premier League talent on their books – Alvin Ceccoli, Brenton and Tyson Rhodes, and Jordan Simpson amongst them – and will be quietly confident of overcoming their more fancied opponents in this intriguing battle.
In what looms as a typical David-vs-Goliath Cup tie, ambitious amateur club Glebe Gorillas travel to Cromer Park to tackle the might of PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s side, Manly United.
The Gorillas, who boast victories over Yagoona Lions (3-0 in Round 3), and Penrith Rovers (4-0 in Round 4), were only founded in 2010 and play in the Sydney Amateur Football League, and are looking forward to the biggest match in the club’s short history.
Glebe Gorillas are on the crest of a wave that started in 2015, where club won five trophies, no less, and reached three finals as they were crowned Division 2 champions and Clubs club champions, winning the Sydney Amateur Cup and the Referees Cup to boot.
But Manly United will be a different challenge altogether. Paul Dee’s men will be well structured, and mentally well prepared to avoid any potential banana skins. They will have the attacking speed of Dejan Pandurevic in the front third to cause havoc, supported by Adam Parkhouse’s wing play, but the main threat will come from the mercurial Brendan Cholakian, the mercurial number ten one of the best creative playmakers in the NPL 1 NSW Men’s competition.
Another interesting battle worth getting out to see will take place at Hensley Athletic Field, with Dunbar Rovers hosting Bonnyrigg White Eagles at 7-30pm.
Bonnyrigg have been one of the most successful clubs in recent NSW football history, and will be red hot favourites coming in to this clash against a side two tiers below them. Boasting the likes of Aaron Peterson and Yuta Kokado in attack, David Vrankovic in defence, and one the best goalkeepers going around in James Chronopoulos, they present a formidable obstacle for the Rovers.
But Dunbar Rovers are an ambitious club, and have quietly gone about their business in 2016 after winning the (previously known) State League 2 competition in 2015 at the first attempt. Rovers have won both games of their 2016 league campaign, not to mention their two comprehensive Cup victories, 5-0 vs Chatswood Rangers and 4-1 against Hills Brumbies.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles will be confident of progressing further, but Dunbar Rovers will not be overawed, and will relish an opportunity to gauge their progress against one of NSW football’s most successful clubs.
You can expect plenty of thrills and excitement at Jensen Park on Wednesday night when Bankstown City Lions welcome Sydney United for a 7-30 kick off.
The Lions have had a great start to 2016, currently occupying equal top spot in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition, entering Round 5 of the Cup courtesy of a 4-0 triumph over Manly Vale in Round 4. Leo Carle will be keen to see how his troops measure up against a powerhouse like Sydney United, and will look towards the experience of Michael Beauchamp in defence, whilst flying winger, Huseyin Jasli, has been mesmerising defences with his speed and set pieces.
Sydney United have proven a real force thus far in 2016. Their solitary Cup match was against the fellow NPL 1 side Sutherland Sharks, and a 4-0 victory made a clear statement of intent for this year’s tournament. Their league form has been scintillating as well, with four wins from five matches seeing them sitting comfortably in second place. No doubt United will look to release their attacking weapons – namely Panni Nikas and Chris Payne – in their quest to overcome what looms as a tricky tie against the Bankstown City Lions.
Other PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s teams in action – all on the evening of Wednesday, April 20 – include Sydney Olympic, who come up against the North Shore Mariners, Hakoah Sydney City East, who make the trek away to take on the confident Picton Rangers, Parramatta FC, who welcome Dee Why FC to Melita Stadium, Rockdale City Suns, who host Mounties Wanderers at Ilinden Sports Centre, and APIA Leichhardt Tigers, who entertain SD Raiders FC at Lambert Park.
Other fixtures include Hawkesbury City travelling to Pat Morley Oval to meet The Entrance Bateau Bay, Mosman FC battle it out with Western Condors FC at Cromer Park, St George FC come up against Waverley Old Boys at St George Soccer Stadium on Wednesday evening, whilst near neighbours, St George FA, will play Berkeley Vale at Ilinden Sports Centre the following night.
Marconi Stallions have a tricky tie against Dulwich Hill at Marconi Stadium, Padstow United meet Gladesville Ryde Magic at Playford Park, Popondetta Park will host the clash between Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Killarney Districts, Barden Ridgebacks do battle with Bankstown Berries at The Ridge, Inter Lions play Bulli FC at Valentine Sports Park, and Wagga City Wanderers tackle Hurstville City Minotaurs at Gissing Oval.
Please click on the following link for all the relevant details of the Westfield FFA Cup Round 5 fixtures, including dates, times and venues of each match.